According to Arizona law, it is illegal for anyone to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, drug, vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance, or any combination of these.
Arizona drunk driving laws are defined under A.R.S. §28-1381 which prohibit driving while under the influence of any intoxicating substance if the person is impaired to the slightest degree. Arizona is among the toughest states when it comes to DUI laws. Read on to find about some of the penalties a driver is subject to for a first time DUI offense.
Penalties For A 1st Offense DUI In Arizona
According to Arizona drunk driving laws, if anyone is found to be in control of a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.08% or more, they may be found guilty of DUI (Driving Under the Influence). A person may also be charged with DUI if they are impaired and under the influence of any amount of alcohol or impaired drugs. These include both legal prescription medications and over the counter medications.
A first offense for driving under the influence with a BAC 0.08% or more is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor. A first time offender in Arizona is subject to the following penalties:
- Minimum of 24 hour sentence in jail up to a maximum of 6 months (the minimum sentence is 10 days in jail, where 9 days of the jail sentence may be suspended)
- A $250 base fine, which can go up to $2,500 in total fines and fees
- Driver’s license suspension of anywhere between 90 to 360 days
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
- Possible probation for 3 years
- Possible community service hours
- Some cases may require a complete drug/alcohol assessment and possibly attend an alcohol education class
These penalties are classified as either Administrative Penalties or Criminal Penalties. Here’s what you need to know about each of these penalties:
- Drivers arrested for a first offense DUI face an administrative license suspension of 90 days. The impending suspension has to be disputed as an integral part of any DUI defense.
- Although installation of an Ignition Interlock Device may not be required, the driver may install it under a hardship based agreement in order to regain their driver’s license.
- Drivers arrested for DUI in Arizona are required to undergo mandatory alcohol and substance abuse screening. The driver may also be required to undergo ongoing alcohol or substance abuse counseling or in-patient treatment as mandated by the court or as part of a DUI defense effort.
- The Lookback Period is 7 years for prior DUIs, which means that a conviction remains on record for a period of seven years in terms of influencing future or subsequent DUI criminal cases.
- The fines, fees, and surcharges amount to around $1,600. However, the offender is likely to incur additional expenses for completing sentencing.
Get Legal Help
Although Arizona statutes prohibit the reduction of a DUI/DWI to a lesser offense, DUI defense attorneys have significant room to negotiate a favorable plea bargain. For assistance, contact the Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan at 480-900-0384 or 602-900-0384 for a Free Initial Consultation.